Is the Medical Fitness of your Employees up to Standard?

Why the medical fitness of office workers should not be overlooked

The Medical fitness of office employees is often overlooked. This is detrimental to both employee and employer in the long-term as production begins to suffer.

While many industries such as mining and construction have strict legislation governing the medical fitness of employees, the medical fitness of employees in all industries is just as important. While the need for medical fitness in industries requiring more physical labour may be stressed more, it is nonetheless important for less active employees to be medically fit too.

The fitness of Office Workers vs Manual Labourers

As already mentioned, industries requiring manual labour tend to stress the need for fitness certificates more than industries that are largely office based. In fact, it has been shown that medical fitness in industries such as mining contributes to hours of safe operation and reductions in accidents leading to higher safety overall.

What about the medical fitness of office workers? 

Occupational health conditions and undiagnosed medical conditions in employees who do manual labour or use heavy equipment pose a much greater risk to themselves, equipment and their fellow employees than an employee who works primarily at a desk. Thus, the danger to others is not as great, which is also why manual labour employees are very heavily regulated in comparison to office workers. As a result, the health of the office worker very often gets overlooked.

While office workers may appear to work in less harmful conditions and generally will not count hours of safe operation, office workers may, in fact, need medical screenings.

Why do office workers need medical screenings?

Increasingly, medical research is telling us that sedentary lifestyles are leading to more health issues. Sitting at a desk and viewing a computer screen for 6 – 8 hours every day is just not conducive to good health.

Some of the obvious health issues include a sore back and stiffness, but other more serious conditions are becoming apparent.

In an article in IOL, Dr Kevin Lentin says, “Our bodies are designed to move”. Lentin says once we stop moving, many of these processes slow, confirming that if you don’t use it, you lose it. “We start to lose function, there’s a weakening of the muscles, digestive function slows, our metabolism slows leading to increased weight and fatty tissue. Increased fat to muscle ratio is unhealthy and promotes the release of inflammatory cells, tending to eventually compromise the immune system,”

Long hours of sitting and lack of movement have been linked to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. When the above is consideredthe need for medical fitness screening and wellness education for office workers becomes obvious.

As an employer, you cannot afford to ignore the medical fitness of your employees. Unhealthy employees are not productive and are costly as they take more and more sick leave. Ensuring all your staff have medical fitness certificates and are well educated through employee wellness programmes is an excellent way to boost company production and ensure the longevity and health of your staff.

Contact WKI to unlock the benefits of a healthier workforce. Get your medical fitness certificates from a leading occupational health company today!

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